Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

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Programs and materials to support us during this challenging time
We are grateful to our community members who are gathering resources that will support us during this time. Please check back regularly as we will be updating resources as we learn of new opportunities.

Upcoming Opportunities

Community Support in Unsettled Time
Tuesday, January 19 at 6:00 or 7:00 pm

You are invited to connect with other community members as we reflect on how we are managing these days, and processing the thoughts, feelings, and images we’re experiencing.  

This online public event will include opportunities for kids, teens, and adults to participate in: 

  • Making art with an art therapist and library staff 
  • Group conversations facilitated by a Turning Point counselor
  • Yoga to de-stress, with Jackie Jasperson (for adults)

The evening will start at 6:00pm for kids, teens, and youth caregivers, and continue separately at 7:00pm with options for adults. Learn more and register here.

“Community Support in Unsettling Times” is presented by Turning Point and Skokie Public Library, and co-sponsored by Skokie Cares.

(Virtual) Mental Health First Aid training course for Evanston residents 

Fridays, January 22 or February 5, 11 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Tuesdays, February 9, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Mental Health First Aid provides participants with the skills they need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. The course will help participants:
-- Identify: the signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use issues;
-- Understand: take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations with friends or loved ones; and
-- Respond: safely and responsibly develop an action plan to help, and even save lives.
Registration is free, but space is limited. Register to reserve your spot today.
The program is sponsored by the City of Evanston and NorthShore University HealthSystem and is presented by The Josselyn Center, a mental health center that serves more than 80 communities in northern Illinois.
For more information, contact 847-441-5600 x. 189 or .


Kugel and Kibitz at Weinberg Community
Wednesday, January 27 at 2:00 pm
Drive by Weinberg to pick up a kugel lunch on Wednesday, January 27 and then join us for a Zoom Book Review with Judy Levin. Tough Luck: Sid Luckman, Murder, Inc., and the Rise of the Modern NFL by R. D. Rosen

The name Sid Luckman was known and revered by Chicago Bears fans during his years as a professional football player and for many years after that career ended. What many fans did not know about is the story R. D. Rosen reveals in the pages of this book. Rosen traces the story of Luckman back to his family’s roots in Brooklyn, where Sid’s father, Meyer Luckman, was making headlines for criminal acts rather than for passing footballs. This father/son story will reveal something new even to the longtime NFL, Chicago Bears, or Chicago celebrity mavens in the group. Rosen grew up in Highland Park, Il., in a house across the street from Luckman. And although he now lives in New York City, he likes to share that he continues to root for the Chicago Bears.

  • Lunch Pickup • 10:30–11:30 am

Weinberg Community
1551 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield

  • Zoom Book Review • 2–3 pm

Registration Required  Michelle Bernstein by January 22,  847.236.7852 or  


AARP Friendly Voice: Connecting People to People  
11 Little Things To Do When You're Feeling Lonely During The Holidays 

Senior Reassurance Program for SKOKIE residents over 65. The Skokie Human Services staff have created a new Senior Reassurance Program for Skokie residents age 65 and over. The program goal is to provide a safe haven to seniors that helps decrease their isolation during these difficult times, especially during the winter months, and promotes a weekly connection through:

  • Technical skills training on how to use a computer, Zoom, etc.
  • Zoom and phone conversations on local/world news, history, books and more
  • Home visits when necessary
  • Delivery of care packages with directory information, toiletries, non-perishable foods and more

The program is free, and donations to the program are welcome in the form of books, toiletries, non-perishable foods/snacks (boxed or canned, please), small gifts, games, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc. No clothing, please.
For more information on signing up for the program or on how to make a donation, please call Skokie Human Services staff members Sabine Gourgue or Dee Zmich at 847/933-8252 or email ..


Mental Health Resources

Center for Contextual ChangeCenter for Contextual Change

Address:9239 Gross Point Rd, Skokie, IL 60077- ph:847-676-4447
Celebrating the resiliency of the human spirit and a commitment to helping others, the Center for Contextual Change was created in 1993 to provide hope and positive change. Dedicated to assisting individuals, couples and families enhance their strengths, develop new coping strategies and heal emotional wounds, the Center utilizes a strength-based contextual therapy to empower positive transformation and restore emotional balance.
Contact: John Hughes-ph:224-592-0134 or email at 

Community Counseling Centers of ChicagoCommunity Counseling Centers of Chicago

Address: 4740 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
Comprehensive Outpatient Mental Health Services for youth and families, Substance Abuse prevention and treatment, employment assistance, Advocacy, Psychiatric services, SASS services
Contact: Call 773-769-0205 and ask for Intake

Hamdard Center for Health and Human ServicesHamdard Center for Health and Human Services

Address: 1542 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660
Hamdard Center for Health and Human services is a community health center whose mission is “to promote the physical and emotional health and psychological well-being of individuals and families by offering hope, help, and healing.” Hamdard was established by co-founders, the late Dr. Farzana Hamid and Dr. Mohammad Hamid, in 1992 as a proactive response to address the critical mental health needs of the South Asian and Middle Eastern communities. Hamdard’s philosophy is to meet the needs of the underserved through its new paradigm of care, which includes a comprehensive service model to provide culturally-sensitive and linguistically appropriate services to families. Hamdard’s mission is to promote physical and emotional health and well-being of individuals and families by offering hope, help and healing.
Contact: Kiran Siddiqui- ph-773-465-4600 or email at

Institute for Therapy through the Arts

Address: 1702 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
ITA provides individual and group therapy sessions for children and adolescents at a clinic based in Evanston. Additionally, ITA serves individuals at various facilities such as schools, hospitals, domestic violence shelters and community centers. ITA provides creative arts therapy as part of student's’ Individualized Education Plans targeting goals addressing social development and communication. Additionally, therapists provide creative outlets for children experiencing emotional difficulties such as anxiety or depression.
Contact: 847-425-9708

Metropolitan Family ServicesMetropolitan Family Services

Address: 5210 Main St., Skokie, IL 60077
For over 150 years Metropolitan Family Services has been a voice for families in Chicago’s city and suburban communities. Out of our Evanston and Skokie offices we provide counseling and case management services to youth and families in our General Counseling and Family Support and Prevention program. We have psychiatric services available to youth in our Child and Adolescent mental health program, which is open to families with the medical card. We provide support to families in our Adoption Preservation program, and work to keep seniors safe by investigating reported allegations of Elder Abuse. Counseling is available in English and Spanish, and home-based services are available to youth and high-risk families.
Contact: Nancy Ayala- ph-847-425-7500 or email 

NSUH Psychiatry- Bridges Program (NorthShore University NSUH Psychiatry- Bridges Program (NorthShore University Hospital)Hospital)

Address: 2650 Ridge Ave., Evanston IL 60201 or ph: 847-570-2500
The Bridges Early Childhood and Adolescent Program serves the needs of children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with, or are at risk for, emotional, behavioral and/or developmental delay. The program focuses on comprehensive, multidisciplinary mental health intervention and direct care to insured and uninsured children between the ages of 3 and 17 living in the Evanston community. The Bridges team also treats children in other communities surrounding NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Contact: Nancy Vinaman- ph-847-570-1117

Turning PointTurning Point

Address: 8324 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077
Child, Adolescent, and Family Treatment Program: Individual, family and psychiatric services for youth who are 18 and under and their families. Bridges Case Management & Outreach Program: Outreach service for youth and their families to help access needed services and help stabilize troubled families. The Youth Council of the Workforce Board of Northern Cook County has recognized the Bridges Program at Turning Point as a Best Practices program.
Contact: Mollie Flink at 847-933-0051 ext. 456 


Address: 3033 Touhy, Chicago, IL 60645- ph-847-676-0078
Response provides individual, family, and group therapy for adolescents and young adults (12-21). We also have an outreach team that provides programs to schools including healthy relationships, sex 101, and team building. As well as offers a Snowball retreat for high school students. Our teen clinic along with Mt. Sinai Hospital provides prevention-based education, emotional support, testing, and gynecological care to teens and young adults.
Contact: Sarah Casper at  

Womencare CounselingWomencare Counseling

Address: Center 1740 Ridge Avenue, Suite 201, Evanston IL 60201
Womencare provides individual, group, couple and family counseling, as well as sponsoring educational and professional workshops. We offer counseling to children and adolescents ages 4-21 and their families. Womencare is home to a team of skilled, licensed clinicians trained in the treatment of the complex issues of childhood and adolescence. Therapists use a variety of counseling techniques and tools that are chosen based upon each child’s unique strengths and vulnerabilities as well as their presenting issues. Treatment may include: play therapy, individual talk therapy, family therapy, and a range of creativity-based interventions, including art therapy, drama and role-play, journaling and poetry. 
Contact: 847-475-7003


Individual Therapy: (Services of Beth Emet members)

Harvey Kelber, LCPC, Counselor
Wilmette, IL, 60091 | Psychology Today

Crisis/Trauma Services

YWCA RISE: Children’s CenterYWCA RISE: Children’s Center

Address: 300 S. Ashland, Suite 301, Chicago, Illinois 60607  
RISE provides specialized client-centered services to victims of sexual abuse or assault who are between 3 and 17 years old. Therapists provide trauma-focused services using a variety of methods including art and play therapy and other creative and expressive outlets. Sexual abuse impacts the entire family, so the YWCA takes a holistic approach to counseling, offering services to non-offending family members in addition to the child victim(s). Services are free of charge.
Contact: Veronica Alarcon-Castaneda 312-733-2102 ext. 2 or email  

IDHS Help is Here: Talk to Someone

The Illinois Department of Human Services's Hotline and website are available to any residents seeking support. They are particularly suited for food, medical, shelter, and recovery needs. They are also available for those who are seeking help at home or are looking to talk to someone. 
Contact: 1-833-2-FIND-HELP (1-833-234-6343)

Grief Counseling

Willow HouseWillow House

Address: 2231 Lakeside Drive, Bannockburn, IL
Willow House is a non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of grieving children and their families. We are recognized as a leader in the field of children’s grief locally and nationally. Peer support group services are provided in four locations, Arlington Heights, Chicago, Libertyville and Riverwoods, with plans to expand to additional sites in the future. In the past 15 years, Willow House has provided direct services to hundreds of families each year including the families of 911. Thousands more have been served by community outreach programs that span the entire Chicago region, from far south suburbs of Chicago to the Wisconsin border and beyond.
Contact: Sandi Lovejoy at 847-236-9300 or email 

Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center

Address: 518 Davis St., Evanston, IL 60201   
The Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center serves children and families who have suffered the loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or abandonment. It provides diagnostic evaluations, short or long-term therapeutic treatment if necessary. Barr-Harris provides parent guidance and support to other family members. It provides telephone consultations for those seeking immediate response to a loss or crisis. 
Contact: 847-492-1516 


Resources for Individuals with Disabilities and those that Provide Support
JCFS Chicago: Sibshops
Virtual Sibshops offer brothers and sisters of children with a variety of special needs a place to meet other siblings in a relaxed, supportive, and recreational setting. Discuss common joys and concerns, learn to handle sibling specific “sticky situations” and have fun! For kids ages 6-12 years old.
The Arc offers resources and information, supports families in advocacy efforts and trains and educates people with disabilities, families and professionals. They offer monthly webinars on a variety of topics
CASE provides community, advocacy, support and education services to improve the lives of Evanston families impacted by disability.
Chicago-based non profit that offers services in the areas of advocacy, independent loving, transition support, peer support and information/referrals.
List of resources to help people with disabilities, their families, service providers and the workforce that support them in the areas of engagement opportunities and educational materials. New resources are added every two weeks.
Eating Disorder Support Groups

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)

Address: 220 N Green Street, Chicago, IL 60607- ph- 630-577-1333
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. (ANAD) is a non-profit organization working in the areas of support, awareness, advocacy, referral, education, and prevention. ANAD is the oldest organization aimed at fighting eating disorders in the United States. ANAD assists people struggling with eating disorders and also provides resources for families, schools and the eating disorder community. ANAD has a variety of support groups in Evanston, Chicago, and the surrounding suburbs for people recovering from an eating disorder.
Contact: Go to and enter your zipcode, and find a support group that works for you.

 LGBTQ Hotlines

Trevor Lifeline- Crisis hotline available 24/7- Call 866-488-7386 any day or time
Trevor Text- Text “Trevor” to 202-304-1200- Crisis text line available Monday - Friday 2-9 pm
LGBTQ National Youth Talkline 1-800-246-PRIDE- Peer support line for LGBTQ youth ages 25 and under. Available Monday thru Friday 3-11 pm and Saturday 11-4 pm 


Youth Job Services

Youth Job CenterYouth Job Center

Address: 1114 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201-3604- ph- 847-864-5627
The YJC prepares job seekers ages 14 through 25 for success in the workplace. We provide job readiness, placement and employment support in partnership with employers. We have a number of exciting programs! Our "Odd Jobs" program connects job seekers with local employers and a number of nontraditional jobs including babysitting, lawn care, computer assistance and much more.
Contact: Diana Balitaan at 847-424-7873 or  


Self Care

Meditation and Mindfulness

Pick a meditation video on YouTube or download a Meditation App on your phone. Get in a comfortable place & position, start your video, and begin meditation. Below are options in both English and Spanish. Here are some suggestions: 

50 Realistic Ways to Improve Your Mental Health
Self-Care: Strategies to Regulate & Recharge in Times of Stress: This resources includes a link to a Webinar and other resources on Self-Care. Check them out.

YouTube Videos:

  1. Your Safe Place Meditation
  2. 5 Minute Meditation 
  3. Ocean Escape 
  4. Sleep Stream
  5. Your Secret Treehouse
  6. Beginner Meditation (Spanish)
  7. 5 Minute Meditation (Spanish)
  8. Yoga with Adrienne


Meditation Apps:

  1. Calm (free for now)
  2. Relax Melodies
  3. Stop, Breath, & Think
  4. Mind Yeti
  5. Headspace (free section for offered during COVID crisis)
  6. Insight Timer


Jewish Organizations Offering Meditation Sits

Orot Center for New Jewish LearningWeekly meditations Tuesdays 7:30-8:30pm 

Institute for Jewish SpiritualityDaily meditation at 11:30am M-F

Feel Better in 5 by Rangan Chatterjee. Research-based book offering tools for small things to do to maintain physical and emotional health.



Three minute breathing
4 breathing activities
Lazy 8 Breathings
Triangle breathing

The Science of Wellbeing: Online course by Laurie Santos, instructor at Yale University


Primary Needs

The Evanston Care NetworkFree and low cost resources including food, housing, childcare, and more. 
Food Accessibility and Assistance: Food pantries, SNAP assistance, prepared/delivered meals, etc: 
Evanston community organizations and resources for health, childcare, families, etc.
Food Resources in Evanston

Business/Job Resources

YWCA Women’s Empowerment Web Academy

Teaches individuals tech skills to obtain a job or switch into a new profession; particularly helpful for those who traditionally are underrepresented or vulnerable populations, such as women of color, survivors of domestic violence, and low-wage workers.

Evanston Public Library: Information for Jobseekers 

Includes lots of options, such as laptop use, career counseling, and tech assistance; also has a job network specific to those who are unemployed and veterans.

Business Interruption Grant (BIG) applications still open

The second round of the State of Illinois' Business Interruption Grants (BIG) Program is still open, offering $220 million in financial assistance for small businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic.

LEND offering zero interest small business loans

Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development (LEND), a student-run, microfinance organization, is providing zero percent interest loans to small businesses in Evanston. Visit their website for the application and to learn more about their lending process.

New Comast RISE program to help small business

The new Comcast RISE initiative is designed to strengthen small independent Black and underrepresented group-owned businesses hit hard by COVID-19 by providing grants, marketing and technology upgrades (including media campaigns and connectivity), computer and voice equipment, and free marketing insights. Learn more about the resources offered through this program here

ComEd Small Business Assistance Program

The Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small business customers, whose service has not been disconnected, with a one-time grant equal to 30% of their total ComEd balance (up to $1,000) that will be applied to the past due balance and the remaining balance can be spread over a payment plan of up to six months.

BeyGOOD Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund

BeyGOOD is on a mission to spread hope. The goal is to provide a life line for small businesses at the epicenter of dual pandemics. BeyGood has teamed up with the NAACP to expand economic opportunity by awarding grants of $10,000 on the 15th of each month through the end of 2020.

Support Latino Business Impact Fund

Support Latino Business will provide grants ranging from $1,000 – $5,000 to help support our Latino Business community who have been affected by COVID. To apply, you must register in the Latino Business free directory. Once you're registered, Support Latino Business will send information about the application process. 

Stress/Managing Emotions

That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief,” Scott Berinato, 2020, Harvard Business Review
Family Decision Making 2020   


Cultural/Virtual Activities

CJE SeniorLifeInteractive daily virtual activities including talks, book clubs, music, cooking, movement, the arts, etc. 
AARP Illinois Events/Calendar  
Steppin Out Adventures: Virtual World Travel  
Virtual New Year's Eve Party 
Goodman TheatreCommunity conversations, virtual performances, for the theater goer who can no longer go.  
The ForwardNews that Matters to American Jews. Book Discussion Club--open to all. Each month a book of fiction relating to something Jewish is chosen. Members come from all over the world. Fascinating open discussion. 

Current Events

The Psychology Behind Donald Trump's Unwavering Support by Bobby Azarian (2016)  

Community Resources

Evanston Public LibraryInformation about arts organizations, religious institutions, clubs and groups, and more.
Resource List on Covid-19 and re-opening in Illinois
Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) has developed a COVID-19 resource page on their website with links to information to help keep all Illinois residents, especially families, providers, and those who support children, informed during this difficult time. Be sure to check for weekly updates and additions, as the situation in the state can change quickly, and tools and resources are being added all the time. 




  • Rabbi Andrea C. London

    Rabbi Andrea London is a nationally recognized Jewish leader who has served at Beth Emet since 2000 and was named the congregation’s Senior Rabbi in July 2010. Rabbi London is deeply engaged in all aspects of congregational...

  • Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler

    Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler, D.D. became a rabbi because of her love of Judaism and desire to teach others, share in their spiritual journey and make the world a better place than we found it.

    She joined Beth Emet in the Fall...

  • Cantor Rabbi Kyle Cotler

    Kyle comes from a long line of Jewish music – his great-grandfather was a Chazzan in Russia; his grandfather, Ted, served in Ventura; and his father, Doug, is currently the cantor at Or Ami in Calabasas. Kyle studied at the...

  • Rabbi Peter S. Knobel z"l

    Rabbi Knobel was rabbi emeritus at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois where he served since 1980, following 11 years at Temple Emanu-El in Groton, Connecticut.  He served as the Interim Senior Rabbi of Templ...

  • Bekki Harris Kaplan

    Bekki Harris Kaplan joined Beth Emet's professional team in July 2001 after working as the Associate Executive Director and Membership Director at Temple Sholom of Chicago. In addition to supervising the functioning of Beth...

  • Marci Dickman

    Marci Dickman joined Beth Emet in July, 2009 with more than 25 years of experience in Jewish education. Marci serves as the Director of Lifelong Learning, acting as the Principal of Beit Sefer and overseeing our Early Child...

  • Kathy Kaberon

    Kathy Kaberon is Beth Emet's Director of Young Family Programs. She has been an administrator in Beth Emet's Early Childhood Program for the past 10 years. Her affiliation with the program began in 1988, when she enrolled h...

  • Maia Volk

    Maia Volk joined Beth Emet in July 2018 as the Director of Youth Programs, overseeing the formal and informal education of Beth Emet youth.  Maia grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent her summers as a camper and staff at...




Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

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